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Sony Classics buys Sundance’s ‘Sugar Man’ doc

Sony Pictures Classics announced that they have acquired the North American rights to SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, a documentary by first time director Malik Bendjelloul about legendary Mexican/American singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez.

Simon Chinn of Red Box Films (Project Nim, Man on Wire) produced and John Battsek of Passion Pictures (The Tillman Story, One Day In September) executive produced in association with Canfield Pictures and The Documentary Company.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN had its world premiere last night as the Opening Night Film of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The deal with Sony Pictures Classics was brokered by Josh Braun and David Koh at Submarine Entertainment, with Protagonist Pictures handling International Sales.

This is Sony Pictures Classics’ third film with executive producer John Battsek. Previous films have included Academy Award Winner One Day In September and My Kid Could Paint That.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells the story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar in the late ’60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, they recorded an album which they believed would secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon.  The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is an incredible story that we can’t wait to share with American audiences.  We are thrilled to be distributing this film by talented new director Malik Bendjelloul and to be working again with our good friend producer John Battsek and Simon Chinn” states Sony Pictures Classics.

Producer Simon Chinn added: “We are hugely excited that SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN has been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. Their passion for this film combined with their stellar track record makes them the perfect distributors for it.”

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